Illness suffered by many following cheerleading event in Everett

  • Tue Feb 7th, 2012 8:10pm
  • News

By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer

Students from at least 19 squads participating in a high school cheerleading competition held at Everett’s Comcast Arena on Saturday night reportedly have become ill with vomiting and diarrhea, state health officials said Tuesday.

Those sickened included five students on a 15-member team from Marysville Pilchuck High School, said Jodi Runyon, school district spokeswoman.

In all, 45 squads participated in the competition.

The cause of the illness is still not known. The exact number of kids and adults who are sick is being investigated as the state health department works with local health agencies and school districts around Washington.

In addition to students from Snohomish County, students from Pierce, Kitsap and Grant counties have reported becoming ill, said Suzanne Pate, spokeswoman of the Snohomish Health District.

One student who attends a Seattle high school was treated with intravenous fluids in the emergency department at Seattle Children’s Hospital and later released.

More than 3,000 people attended the cheerleading competition and about 1,000 competed in the state cheerleading dance/drill competition.

Health officials said that intestinal illnesses can be caused by several types of viruses and bacteria.

Samples from sickened patients will be sent to state health department laboratories to try to determine the cause of the illness.

Symptoms of these type of diseases typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and may include headaches, stomach cramps and fever. Frequent hand-washing helps prevent them from spreading.

Saturday’s event was hosted by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.